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Gender Identity: Embracing Individuality & Self Expression

Gender-identity-express-yourself.jpgEmbrace Your Individuality

Embracing individuality means recognizing and celebrating the unique qualities, talents, and perspectives that make each person special. It's about accepting and valuing differences, rather than trying to conform to a narrow definition of what is considered "normal" or "acceptable."

When we express our individuality, we are able to be true to ourselves and live authentically, without fear of judgment or rejection. In turn, this allows us to respect and appreciate the individuality of others, recognizing that everyone has their own path in life and their own way of expressing themselves.

By fostering an environment that encourages and celebrates individuality, we can create a more inclusive and diverse society, where everyone feels valued and respected. Ultimately, embracing individuality is about promoting self-expression, creativity, and self-discovery, while also valuing the unique qualities of those around us.

Express Yourself

The artist and musician David Bowie appeared on television in 1973 for an interview with Russel Harty (“Russell Harty Plus Pop”, BBC Chanel 3) wearing a colorful patchwork outfit, a single large dangly earring, sparkly gold socks and a pair of pink and green platform sandals. During the interview Bowie made a statement about individuality. He said:  “People want a role in society, they want to feel that they have a position. They want to be an individual and I think there's a lot of searching to find the individual within oneself.

Immediately following that statement the interviewer said “Right, and how about the shoes? Are those men's shoes, or women's shoes or bisexual shoes?” To which Bowie replied with a toothy grin “They're shoe-shoes silly”.

Bowie’s response highlighted and challenged the traditional notions of gender classification in a playful and humorous way. By explaining “They're shoe-shoes" Bowie was drawing attention to the fact that shoes have no gender. Shoes are not specifically masculine or feminine, but rather something that can be worn by anyone regardless of their gender identity.

Bowie was highlighting the idea that gender categories are social constructs, and that clothing and fashion should not be limited by those constructs, nor should people. By wearing shoes that were traditionally associated with women, Bowie was challenging gender norms and creating a space for himself to exist beyond the confines of traditional gender roles. It was a clever and playful way to challenge traditional notions of gender and to embrace the idea that ones fashion and appearance should be free from gender constraints.

Bowie's response also reflected his own belief in the fluidity of gender identity and his desire to challenge societal expectations around gender and expression. Throughout his career, he consistently pushed the boundaries of gender norms through his fashion choices, music, and public persona, and this interview exchange is just one example of that.

Challenge Yourself

What limiting ideas about your gender or identity do you encounter in your life and how can you challenge them in positive, constructive and playful ways? Where do your own ideas about identity come from? In what ways do you express your authentic self? Who are your role models? Are you a role model?

Celebrate PRIDE

June is Pride Month . There are many ways to celebrate Pride, from learning the history of The Pride Movement to supporting the diverse array of LGBTQ+ voices, to supporting local LGBTQ+ businesses and charities, to being an ally to your friends and family who identify as LGBTQ+. No matter how you celebrate Pride Month, it is a time to get together and stand together with the LGBTQ+ community in its fight for equality and LGBTQ+ justice.


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